The Average Household Uses 12-13 Sources of Entertainment. What Are They?

December 12, 2022

Streaming video sure is popular, but it’s just one of several different ways that US households access entertainment. A recent report [excerpt download page] from Hub Entertainment Research finds that the average household uses 12.5 different sources of entertainment, and that this figure rises to 15.5 among 18-34-year-olds.

The survey measured the number of entertainment sources used across 10 categories, ranging from traditional and streaming TV to gaming, streaming music, podcasts, audiobooks, reading, and others. Big brand SVODs led the way, with the average household stacking 3.1 subscriptions. Other video platforms are also evidently part of the mix, as the average household folds in almost 3 more such subscriptions, whether free streaming TV services (1.1 on average), MVPD subscriptions (0.6), or premium subscriptions (0.6), among others.

As such, almost half of the entertainment sources used by households are video sources. Households led by 18-34-year-olds are less reliant on video for entertainment, however. Among the 15.5 entertainment sources that this younger demographic uses, an average of 6.6 are video sources. That’s almost matched by the number of gaming and social media sources they use (6, combined).

Indeed, 18-34-year-olds use almost as many social media platforms (3.6 on average) as big brand SVODs (3.7), and they average one more gaming entertainment source (2.4) than the average household (1.5).

This brings to mind earlier research from Hub, in which it found that younger consumers ages 13-24 were spending almost 40% share of their screen-based leisure time playing games and using social media.

By contrast, people ages 35 and older use fewer entertainment sources on average (10.6), and half (5.3) are video sources, compared to about 3 that are either social media (2.1) or gaming (1).

It’s also worth noting that as paid music subscriptions continue to rise, the average household uses 1.3 streaming music sources, with this climbing to 1.6 among younger respondents.

Other Highlights:

  • As seen in a previous wave of the survey conducted earlier this year, only about half of households’ entertainment sources are considered “must-haves,” or 6.1 out of the 12.5. This proportion generally holds true across the 18-34 (8 of the 15.5) and 35+ (4.9 of the 10.5) brackets.
  • When men and women under the age of 35 have 10-15 minutes available, social media is easily their first choice for entertainment, followed distantly by big brand SVODs. Social media is still the choice for both men and women ages 35+, but is followed in each case by MVPD subscriptions.
  • When they have 2 hours available, women of all ages are most likely to say that big brand SVODs are their first entertainment choice. Among men ages 18-24, however, big brand SVODs (24% share) are joined by social media (also 24% share) at the top of the list of choices, with gaming sources (23% share) also right in the mix.

For more, download the report highlights here.

About the Data: The results are based on an October survey of 3,003 US consumers, ages 18-74, who are household decision-makers about entertainment.

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